NPGCD Soil Labs at Gruver Ag Day

In October, North Plains Groundwater Conservation District (NPGCD) presented to Gruver students about the soil cycle and permeability at their agriculture day for the Gruver Farm Scholarship Foundation.


NPGCD staff Kirk Welch and Shari Stanford teach students about soil permeability, while the Texas Country Reporter cameraman records the proceedings.

The Gruver Farm Scholarship Foundation got its start when Karl Nielsen of Gruver donated land to the Gruver School District after his death in the 1970s. For many years, the school district leased the land and the proceeds of the lease went toward district operations. Gruver’s former superintendent, David Teal, then came up with the idea for the Gruver Farm Scholarship Foundation. The land is farmed by Ag Partners, a group of local farmers, and is supported by many contributors. All the money produced by the crop is used for the scholarship fund. Graduates of Gruver High School can apply each year for four years after graduating.

During this year’s corn harvest, NPGCD was invited to talk to students about soil and water conservation.  As an added treat, the crew from famous syndicated news program Texas Country Reporter showed up to do a story on Gruver’s foundation. The episode aired on November 19 and 20, 2016 and can be viewed at

Gruver students from kindergarten to 6th grade learned about soil properties through NPGCD’s soil lab. Students tested the permeability of loam, clay, gravel and sand by pouring the same amount of water through each material and measuring the amount that made it through. When soil labs are conducted in the classroom, lab sheets are provided for students to calculate the relative permeability of each material. Through this experiment, students then make the connection between soil and water in the Texas Panhandle and how its permeability can affect access to groundwater.

NPGCD offers soil labs for 4th grade students within the district. For questions or to schedule a soil lab, call the district at (806) 935-6401, or email Alyssa Holguin at